Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Guardians of the Vale - Session 2
Last time an impetuous dwarf charged down a secret tunnel and found himself face to face with a white dragon. This time...the fight!
The rest of the party moved in and an epic combat followed. The heroes opened with movement and ranged attacks while the dragon closed in and unleashed it's freezing breath on them. Staggering, the team spread out and began trying to carve up the beast. The Elf Ranger stayed back firing arrow after arrow into the thing. The Shifter Druid blasted it with lightning (Storm Spike!) several times as the Dragonborn Paladin and the Dwarf Warlord moved to surround it and engage it in melee from opposite sides. This was working alright until the paladin took a terrific beating in a flurry of claws and teeth and fell to the ground. The dwarf redoubled his effort and the druid shifted into beast form and charged in to attack. The druid did manage to pour a healing potion down the paladin's throat and he revived in short order, rejoining the fight. As the beast staggered under the renewed assault it lashed out in a fury with tooth, claw, and breath. One by one the heroes fell out of the fight until the bloodied and battered dragon was facing only the Elf Ranger. Realizing the fight was coming down to a one-on-one duel the wounded ranger dropped his bow, drew both swords, and charged the mighty beast. As it struck at him, he plunged both swords deep into the dragon, driving past white scales and into the heart of the beast. With a final groan it leaned over and collapsed, slain at last. The bloodied elf moved to each of his companions, reviving them one by one (though not before finding a treasure chest and some loot and picking out his own favorite piece) and soon a battered and weakened party of heroes could be seen leaving the small complex known as Kobold Hall, headed for Loudwater.
DM Notes: This was an epic fight that lasted 15 rounds, the longest 4E combat we have had in any campaign. Part of this was because there are only 4 characters in the party (not 5), part of it is because they are still relatively new to the game, and part of it is because they had already used their dailies and some action points against the kobold chief and did not take a long rest before facing the dragon. It was looking a little grim during some of the fight as the paladin dropped and at one point the druid dropped and in the end the paladin, druid and warlord were all down leaving a not-undamaged ranger to face off with the dragon alone. Fortunately the damage had already piled up and the dragon didn't have much left but the players didn't know that and I'm glad he took the right approach - charge!
Overall I was happy with the way the fight went and especially with how it ended but it did drag on a bit. Having only recently learned about action points themselves they were surprised to find out that some monsters get them too - that was fun. Maybe next time they will be better prepared and will tear through things a little faster. A solo fight at 1st level can clearly be a little tough but they survived while feeling like they overcame a real challenge and that's how it's supposed to be.
After this the party returned to Loudwater and advanced to 2nd level, ready to embark on a new quest.